The natural world has become separate from our everyday lives. We no longer view the flora and fauna as something of a miracle. They go unnoticed, as we trek through new territories of steel and glass, swirled in the hazes of traffic and a foggy light show. Reds and greens are no longer seen in a leisurely walk, but rather in frustrated glances, as we miss a turn or have to come to a sudden stop. Car horns and text message notifications play tag in our eardrums and we’re suddenly numb to the sound of silence.
The Canadian wilderness is vast and unforgiving towards this new lifestyle. There is no room for Wi-Fi and the only “tweets” welcome here are those of chirping birds in the distance. If the nomad inside of you has led you to wondering about whether or not there is any clean air left in this world, then you’ve come to the right place. Let go of the modern lifelines you cling to so dearly and escape back into the simplicity that is the beauty of this world.
Let us explore the grand Arctic regions of Quebec’s Far North in Nunavik. Let us sink deep into the untouched wilderness of the Banff National Park in Alberta, or go dog sledding in Ontario. It is time to re-hatch our explorative instincts, as we step out of our cities, and into the Canadian Wild’s dangerously calming embrace.
Start by packing a bag and heading to Nunavik for a new light show. Nature’s show of the Northern Lights, that is. Otherwise known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights is made possible by “energized electrons that smash into earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds.” When this happens, the reaction causes radiation, viewed in our eyes as a colorful spread of greens and purples across the night sky. The ideal time to go see the Northern Lights is from August-March.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, make your way west towards Ontario. Dog Sledding is a big winter pastime in Canada, and worth every penny. Dog Sledding was not a sport in the beginning, but rather viewed as the most efficient method of transportation in the north. Through the snow and over rough and icy terrain, the best way to maneuver came through the help of a loyal team of Eskimo dogs, which would pull a sled of goods, along with their master, or “musher.”
The term “musher” was developed through the use of the French word “marche,” which was a command that moved the leaders of the pack to take off, and the rest of the point dogs and wheel dogs to fall into line at the correct pace. Early English explorers heard “marche” as “mush” and thus was the history of the musher term.
Nowadays, you can book trips to Canadian lodges, where you will bond with your pack, learn commands, and sled throughout the white wilderness of Canada’s winter. This becomes a true Canadian adventure, as you camp out in the lodges with hot meals and great company. Other day courses and activities are available on site, and you’ll have a guide the entire time.
Your dreams of driving a team of excellent canines through old growth and miles of snow-capped mountains can now become a reality with the help of these vacation packages. For more information, check out online sources and choose a lodge with good reviews that provides background knowledge and hands-on training with the animals.
If you enjoy hiking and like skiing, or would like to try it out, head to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Winter is the perfect time to explore this beautiful park. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest park, and was established in 1885. With over 2,000 square miles of territory to explore, there isn’t enough time in one vacation to do everything. Each year, Banff receives more than 3 million visitors, all of whom come for the park’s exquisite layout of peaks, valleys, and glass-clear lakes. Be sure to check out the Columbia Icefield, which is the largest “uninterrupted glacier mass” in the Rockies.
In the park, you will find an abundance of wildlife, including grizzlies, cougars, bighorn sheep, moose, and wolverines. Pine trees line the scenery and views from the high peaks that open into panoramas of the entire park are worth far more than any camera ever used to capture them.
The town of Banff offers an array of activities as well, including history and art museums, and local cuisine. Every year, the town hosts a month-long festival known as the Winterstart Festival. With the appropriate claim of “Winter. Starts. Here.,” the festival attracts thousands of tourists throughout Canada and the U.S. Make plans for November, as the festival begins then. At the festival, you can experience world cup ski races, skiing courses for beginners, and slopes open to all for fun.
Also held at the event is a Santa Claus parade and a light show. Check out the Lake Louise Ski Resort to book a trip this winter. The resort offers several enticing packages, including a “dinner and ski” package, as well as mountain tours and 2016/2017 fall and winter season passes. The resort is nestled in the mountains and its structure is magnificently rustic and inviting. Lodges around Alberta are all worth checking out, and this type of trip is fun for the whole family, or great for exploring on your own, also.
Winter is often seen as an intimidating season. One to “wait out” by staying inside under a warm blanket, sipping a hot cup of cocoa. While that is definitely an old favorite, why not get out and explore nature every chance we get? Activities and adventures change with the seasons, and Canada is assuredly a top contender when looking to spend time in the snow. Temperatures are going to be freezing, sometimes a little below (depending on where you are headed to) so invest in a parka and get going. Your Canadian adventure is just around the corner!